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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Less has got to be more...

I tend to overwrite.
I always have done.
But that doesn’t mean all the extraneous nonsense I spill onto the page stays in.
I edit and edit and rinse and swill till it’s all back out again;
Like deep-cleansing an ulcer.
But I always let the rot in first.
I’ve been writing forever, yet I still go through this painful convoluted process of writing down everything I’m thinking, with a clot of butter on top.
I trawl back over it on round two, dropping adverbs and adjectives like little smoking bombs, just in case I hadn’t blown it up already.
By round three, unsurprisingly, I discover that I’ve annihilated a sturdy piece of prose.

I do the reverse of what I should do.
When I know the rules well:

Thou shalt not overwrite
Thou shalt not clutter with adjectives and cling onto adverbs
Thou shall not waffle and slow the pace.

We all know all the rules, don’t we? Yet we still go through the motions.
Or is it just me?
Why do I do it?
Is it for a higher purpose hidden from my conscious mind?
Or part of a psychological limbering-up before the literary sprint?
Stockpiling ideas in the wrong place?
Perhaps I’m so confused, when I sit down to work, that I’m dementedly writing out, round or into what I really want to say?
I have no idea.
Perhaps I’m just stupid.
I'm wasting time.
I want to write good stiff prose – right off the bat - w
ithout prancing round the gardens first...

Does anyone else suffer from this affliction?

Let me know how you cured yourself, or whether you still have the post-it note shouting down at you

Less is always more!

Tell me, tell me.

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